What are the Different Kinds of Quality Control Jobs?
The field of quality control is one that many companies perceive as critical to their operations. Some facilities employ a team of people who monitor manufacturing processes and measure the specifications or ingredients of every product. Quality control jobs in such a team may include an officer, engineer, inspector and technician. Other facilities that are perhaps smaller may have only one quality control position, and that person may be the quality control manager. Each of these roles is different and holds individual responsibilities to ensure companies meet their production goals.
Some quality control jobs are available in assurance, while others are found directly in control. It is often important to understand the difference, because each of these departments usually handles different components of the production process. People in assurance often monitor the production of a good or service. An example of this may be a car part, in which that piece’s manufacturing process is managed by quality assurance. Quality control, on the other hand, looks at the finished good to ensure it will work properly for the customer and has the right characteristics.
A quality control officer may work in the departments of both assurance and control. This person may review laboratory procedures, develop and coordinate educational programs and ensure compliance with safety standards. The quality control officer may also be responsible for coordinating with local and national agencies to maintain applicable certifications for the company. Such a position may be found with municipal water departments, automobile manufacturers and environmental engineering firms.
Some facilities may also have a quality control engineer. This position may support quality control inspectors to ensure processes and products comply with current quality standards. For this core function, the engineer may review new products, conduct manufacturing audits and respond to customer complaints. A quality control engineer often analyzes data in terms of both product failures and successes to determine if changes are necessary. Engineer positions may require a bachelor’s degree in science or engineering, depending upon the industry in which a person hopes to work.
Inspectors are additional examples of quality control jobs, and they often work on-site for immediate information on quality issues. In a manufacturing facility, for example, the inspector is likely to be near the assembly line for ongoing analysis. A quality control inspector may also work at construction sites, in a testing laboratory or in-house with a consulting firm. Responsibilities for this position may vary considerably, with tasks often involving daily testing of products or activities, continued attention to error-free work and maintaining records of test results. The inspector is also likely to provide reports to senior members of the quality control team or operations managers.
A quality control technician often tests products to ensure they meet performance standards, and then provides that information to an engineer or manager. Quality control managers, in turn, may work alone or collaborate with a team. People in these quality control jobs may inspect, analyze and create reports about production. If they work individually, managers may communicate directly to process and product engineers to implement new quality measures. In a team, managers may oversee the technicians and conduct training, education or certification classes as necessary.
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